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Sticker Tales

Our idea helps children and parents in low income communities in third-world countries to learn through storytelling in a simple and an interactive way using age-appropriate reusable stickers.

Photo of Tino Elgner
27 18

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Including all of the updates and changes up until the 6.12.14, our
idea can be described as follows:


To give children (and parents) the platform to learn through the creation and transformation of their own fairytales, the idea is to create a Sticker Story Kit.

The Sticker Story Kit would include:
  • A collection of reusable stickers including everything needed to create a story through pictures from A-Z based on the things found in the cultural proximity of the children; stickers would be come in three versions: colored stickers (for beginners or younger children), uncolored stickers that kids themselves can color (for intermediate or a bit older kids), and blank stickers that kids can draw on (for experts or even older kids). Blank stickers/Experts stickers would also include the first letter of the word that describes the form of the sticker to help children how to read (for example an elephant sticker would have the letter "E" on the sticker if the language spoken is English). Some stickers will also be directed to the parents such as a child washing his/her hands.
  • A story book for parents with folktales of a certain country or community that they can use to share with their children. If the parents can read text can be used; if they cannot read the story book will only include pictures to help parents create their own stories. Some pages of the story book will be blank so that parents can create their own stories through the stickers to depict certain "dos" and "donts" that they wont their children to adapt, such as stories focused on the child washing his/her hands or not drinking water out of a dirty well.
  • A "sticker story book" for children that accompanies the story book for the parents. Many of the pages of this book will be blank so the children can translate what they hear into reality through the sticker collection, and some of the pages will include partial pictures which the children have to "complete" by using the sticker collection.
  • Colored pencils that go with the blank and uncolored stickers

The creation of the right collection of stickers will be an important part of the project, as the stickers determine the realities of all the possible stories.

In addition, we are also thinking of possibly including stories and stickers that are not found in the cultural proximity of the children to incentivate the curiousness to figure out what these stickers and stories are truly representing. Furthermore, including games, such as fitting the right sticker into the right form (example: a triangle sticker would only fit into the triangle form) might be included for the education the youngest children.

Update: 4.12.14
Maybe we can make it a “Progressive learning experience”, where there are different stages/categories according to the child’s age:
  • Stage 1 (beginners): colored stickers
  • Stage 2 (intermediate): uncolored stickers that kids themselves can color
  • Stage 3 (expert): blank stickers that kids can draw on
This way, as the kid grows older, he/she will develop his/her creative skills as well through drawing .

Update: 4.12.14
To expand the sticker kit, we could consider using shapes and colors, which are great attractions for children in this age group, in addition to stimulating their brain. In that sense, certain games that include that matching of shapes could be made part of the overall value proposition.

Update: 2.12.14
To make the overall product more attractive and value adding, we could turn the entire idea into a "kit" that includes pens and pencils to create and color stickers, the blank book, a sticker collection, example stories etc.

Update: 2.12.14
Including parents in the process of coloring the stickers might add a valuable variable to even educate the parents on certain dos and donts. Stickers could also be used as a tool by parents to create stories that visualize a certain moral or behavior they would like their children to adapt.

Update: 30.11.14
To increase the imagination aspect of children, one could include blank stickers that children could draw on. In that way they could design their own unique ideas and stickers and thus stories.

Update: 25.11.14
To help with the process of getting a child to read, stickers could include either the entire word or the first letter of what the stickers represents on the sticker itself. For example, for an elephant sitcker the letter "E" would be included.  

Update: 24.11.14

To expand the idea and make the storytelling process more effective, a few folk tales would have to be part of the sticker sales "book." These stories could be used by the parents to share them with their kids, and the kids could use the stickers to retell them based on what the have remembered or on their imagination in terms of how they see the story should have been told.

Update: 17.11.14
After a few additional discussions our idea has changed. You will find the previous version of it below the horizontal line under "First Version of Idea". The main change includes the direct involvement of the child in the creation process of the story, assuming that imagination is something the does not have to be developed but supported by providing the tool to convert it into something tangible and that can be shared.

The idea is to give children (and parents) the platform to easily create and share their own fairytales. To do that all we need is an empty storyboard/book, and a collection of hundreds of different reusable stickers. Stickers will range from clouds, to trees, to animals, human beings, toys...basically anything... found in the cultural proximity of the children. In addition to the stickers, the pages of the storyboard will offer some sort of background setting, such as a forest, beach, mountain range backdrop or might be totally blank. In the end, children would use the stickers to "puzzle together" their own stories page by page. Once they want to create a new story, they would take back the stickers and start from scratch.

"Puzzle Tales" will also be valuable to parents. They can engage with it by recreating some of the folktales they were told when they were children. As storytelling is a tough art to master, it is assumed that through the creation of "pictures" through the stickers, it will help parents to become even better storytellers. To go one step further, parents will be able to use Puzzle Tales to transmit important values or actions, by creating stories with educative value. These stories might focus on "washing your hands," "not drinking dirty water," or other "actions" that are considered important for the child's physical and mental development in a certain cultural backgrounds.

The creation of the right collection of stickers will be an important part of the project, as the stickers determine the realities of all the possible stories. To start this process we thought it would be important to first collect some of the folktales of certain cultures, and based on these create the first  collection of stickers.
 
First Version of Idea
Stories have an immense power to ignite a child´s imagination, which many see as the fundamental ingredient for a healthy mind and thinking processes.

However, storytelling is a tough art to master; although human beings connect through stories, many of us are rather “storyreaders” than actual storytellers. In addition, in the later years the most imaginative mind cannot truly flourish if basic educational needs, such as knowing how to read, write and do simple math, are not met.
 
Thus, our idea tries to tackle the following questions:

 
  1. How can we help illiterate parents in low income communities in third-world countries become master storytellers in their own cultural context?
  2. How can we use the solution to the first question to set up a system within the first 5 years of a child that will help to finance his or her future education?


To tackle these two questions, our idea works the following way:
 
  • Develop Master Storytellers
    1. Help the community to collect culturally relevant orally transmitted folk tales
    2. Help the community translate these tales into pictures with culturally relevant symbols and characters
      • This implies the creation of characters that children can relate to; similar to fictitious role models or heroes
    3. Help the community combine single pictures into one storyboard/picture book without the written word
      • Storyboards are created in a way that each picture can be taken out and replaced with another one
      • The idea is that the more storyboards are created, the more parents have the option to create their own stories by replacing pictures in a way they see fit
      • This is where the idea of the title came from as parents and children will be able to puzzle together their own stories
 
  • Creating Funds for Future Education
    1. Help the community to create a system of selling each storyboard
    2. Help the community to understand how to put some of the money earned aside to be used to finance the education of some children in the future

The idea was born out of several openIDEO meetups in Madrid.

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Our idea provides benefits to three stakeholders: parents, children, and the community as a whole. Parents will be able to connect with their children by using Puzzle Tales to tell and come up with fascinating stories; children have an outlet for their own imagination which will lead to the invention of role plays and games; the communities will have found a way to document their traditions and history in a format that doesn’t rely on the written word, while being able to help some of their members to receive the needed education which these children can use to further support their community.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Pilot with IE students’/professors’ kids. Although they may not be low-income but at least their skills (example, to test the stages) should be similar age group.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • This idea is meant to inspire. I hope someone else takes it on!

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